history nrrd · navelgazing · patterns are for sissies · shawls · the shetland-that-must-not-be-named

Blogging into the Silence

Okay, I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ll save the handwringing and spare the self-flagellation and get on to the content.  The biggest item of which is…

I finished The-Shawl-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.  And it even gets a title change, as I can name it now!  I didn’t want to before I finished it, as I wanted the inspiration for the shawl to be a surprise to someone but now I give you…

Yes, she’s named and designed after Blodwen Rowlands from Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising Sequence.  Spider pattern in the centre for the way she traps people in her web with magic, like a spider in her web; horseshoe lace for the border, as she is the White Rider of the Dark; Lily-of-the-Valley for the edging, as her name means “white flowers”, and these flowers, like her, are beautiful but deadly.

A shot actually wearing the shawl:

And a diagram of the construction I used:

You can click on the pictures to embiggen them.  I should also mention that I am SO GLAD I got blocking wires for this project.  This shawl is a square the width of a double bed.  I cannot imagine pinning it all.

Last item, I found some interesting descriptions of knitting from the excerpts from Victorian instruction manuals at RobinStokes.com.  Consider these from the Ladies Complete Guide to Crochet and Fancy Knitting:

The work being held in the left hand, the needle must be held closely pressed between the palm and the third and fourth fingers, …the other needle is held between the thumb and first finger of the right hand, and rests on the hand.

I’m trying to picture this.  I think it means holding the right needle pen-style, and the left needle overhand?

 Knitting needles should have no sharp points. The needles should gradually taper to a rounded, smooth end, half an inch, at least, being thus gradually diminished.

This is rather interesting because I generally see complaints about knitting needles not being pointy enough, particularly when knitters are doing fine lacework. Hence why the addi lace turbos are pointier than the regular addis. Considering the amount of fine work being done in the Victorian era, I can’t imagine doing it with blunter needles, though perhaps this source means they shouldn’t be pointy in the will-actually-puncture-the-skin sense?

Anyway, there’s a lot of interesting material there, both on that page and others on the site and go take a look at the book reproductions for sale.  The 1817 knitting instrcution book makes me happy in my pants.

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One thought on “Blogging into the Silence

  1. I love this! It reminds me of some of the larger shawls on Folk Shawls (that I particularly liked), but the edging makes it more delicate – it’s beautiful.

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